How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take to Go to Court?

Jonathan Thursby
Associate Solicitor, Personal Injury Claims

If no agreement can be reached on who’s to blame for an accident which caused personal injury, or if your claim can’t be resolved before the third anniversary of the accident, it’ll be necessary to settle the case in Court.

However, our Personal Injury Solicitors aim to conclude claims before they go to Trial, and the vast majority of personal injury cases do settle out of Court.

For more information on claiming compensation, or for free legal advice, get in touch with our Personal Injury Solicitors – ask if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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If a suitable compensation settlement can’t be agreed with the defendant, or they refuse to admit liability (fault), and we’re happy there are reasonable prospects of success, we will start Court proceedings.

Filing a claim at Court could lead to your case being delayed slightly, as getting an initial hearing in the Court timetable can take a while. The Court will usually aim to hear any claim worth up to £25,000 compensation within 12 months of the claim being issued. However, it will take longer for higher value cases to reach trial.

When a timetable has been drawn up by the Court, both parties will have to stick to it, and in low value cases, the Court will probably list the case for Trial. This is important as it means both parties will know when the claim will finish.

If your personal injury case does go to Court, it’s very important that you have a specialist Personal Injury Solicitor handling your case, so that all the right documents can be submitted on time. This may include photographs of the scene of the accident, medical reports outlining the severity of your injury, witness statements and receipts that prove the financial impact that the injury has had on your life.

Do I Have to Go to Court?

Even if a Court date has been set, the defendant could still change their mind and settle out of Court, in which case a hearing won’t be necessary.

If this doesn’t happen and your case is worth between £1,000 and £25,000 compensation, depending on the nature of your case, it’s likely that your Personal Injury Solicitor or Barrister will speak on your behalf in Court. However, you will be expected to attend in person if the value of your claim is above £25,000, or if your case is more complex.

If you do have to appear in Court, you’ll be cross-examined by both your legal representative and the defendant’s Barrister, as will any witnesses you may have. The Judge will make a decision and decide how much compensation you should be awarded.

We should stress that a personal injury claim will be heard in a civil Court, not a criminal Court. So there won’t be a Jury making decisions about your claim - the decisions will be made by a Judge.

Going to Court to settle a personal injury claim is often a last resort and a scenario both claimants and defendants will wish to avoid.

For you, it can be upsetting to rake over the details of what happened to you and be questioned about it by your opponent’s Barrister. But the defendant may also have good reasons for not wanting the matter to go this far, as by refusing to settle out of Court, they run the risk of facing much greater legal costs at the end of the case.

That’s one reason why so few personal injury claims end up having to go to Court, but rest assured that if this does happen, our expert Personal Injury Solicitors can support you and represent your interests.

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